Thursday, February 24, 2011

God Gave Us the World - Lisa T. Bergren and Laura J. Bryant

"God Gave Us the World" is about different kinds of bears as seen from the perspective of Mama Bear and Little Cub, polar bears who live in cold weather.  When Mama Bear takes Little Cub to a bear exhibit at a local museum, they are able to see several types of bears, what they eat, and their habitats.  The author reinforces that God created many different bears who eat different things and live in all kinds of different places because he is a creative God.  It talks about outward differences, and also differences on the inside.  This book is an excellent way to prepare young children for interacting with others from different cultures or backgrounds.  It certainly hit a chord with our family, because we have moved so much and had the privilege of experiencing different cultures firsthand.
Aside from having an excellent moral and life lesson, my three kids (ages 5, 4, & 2) all loved this story and the art was wonderful.  I enjoyed the story; the length of the book was perfect.  "God Gave Us the World" is one of several in the "God Gave Us" series, and I will definitely keep a lookout for the other books as well.  I recommend this as a handy tool for parents to teach their children a godly perspective and positive attitude toward people from a different background than their own.  It is especially helpful during times of transition such as entering a new school or moving to a new town.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Save the Date - Jenny B. Jones

Jenny B. Jones is not new to writing, but this was the first of her books that I’ve ever read.  Whenever I embark on a new author, I feel like I take a risk -- and this one paid off.  "Save the Date" is a chick-lit loaded in comedy and empty of boredom. 
Lucy is working her dream of operating a girls’ home that helps transition kids out of the foster system and into adulthood.  She meets a former football star and underwear model turned politician who is in the middle of a campaign.  When the paparazzi misunderstand their relationship his low ratings shoot sky-high.  Her nonprofit is struggling for funding, and he proposes a temporary relationship with worthwhile benefits to both parties.
The only critique I offer is that I didn't fully understand how someone from her challenging background had taken the idea of the girls’ home and made it a reality.  With the upfront cost of such a venture, this took a little imagination.
But don't allow this to stop you from enjoying the book!   The plot moves along at a super-fast pace with zero lag time and no "filler" content.  Even though this has a contemporary setting, it took me way out of my box and into a world of nonprofits, a political campaign, and the glamour of celebrities.  I give this a 5-star because it is one of the best in its genre.  If you like chick-lit, read and be edified.  I even pulled my journal out and took notes.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Head in the Clouds - Karen Witemeyer

"Head in the Clouds" is about Adelaide, a joyful young lady who heads to Texas in order to track down the man she thinks ought to marry her.  Trouble is, when she finds him she realizes she's been duped and quickly formulates plan B.  In response to a newspaper ad, she hops on a wagon and goes deeper into Texas to become a governess to Isabella, a 5-year old girl.  When she arrives, she tackles wholeheartedly the task of loving and teaching her student.  But bad news comes quickly in the form of a relative who threatens this happy family.  Motivated by money, Isabella's uncle turns out to be a murderer, and a very real threat. 
This Christian fiction romance was outstanding, and I loved how the author put more depth into the storyline by adding a murder plot as well.  This book is a happy romance with a balance of suspense, and it won't chill you to the bone.  "Head in the Clouds" is Karen Witemeyer's second novel (her first novel was "A Tailor-Made Bride").  Her next book, "To Win Her Heart" will be released April 2011.  I'm excited that we have a new authoress in the Christian women's fiction genre and am looking forward to more books from this author.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

This is one book that will definitely be read twice.  Jane Austen painted the main character, Elizabeth, perfectly.  I think perhaps Elizabeth Bennet "gets me" better than anyone else on earth!  I couldn't help taking notes and sending snippets to Facebook as I read this one.  I'm confident that this book will be just as popular in another two centuries.  I recommend it as an essential for every lady, young and old.

In the Shadow of the Sun King - Golden Keyes Parsons

I have a difficult time imagining how someone could have the talent to write this well! My goodness! I think this book may have won out my current favorite title. All that history, and in such a compelling story. The info that it was based on a true account makes it even more interesting, because as it is with true stories, you never know how it will end. I can't say enough about this book.

Trouble with Tulip - Mindy Starns Clark

This was a good, lightweight book. I've read Whispers of the Bayou, Secrets of Harmony Grove, the Million Dollar Series, and one more Amish mystery. Loved them all; you can't go wrong with Mindy Starns Clark. It should be duly noted, though, that this series is far more light (has a bit less suspense) than her other books.